Essential Guide to Long-Term Prepper Food: Stocking Up for Emergencies

Set of long storage term foods on pantry shelf prepared for disaster emergency conditions on brick wall background

In times of disaster, having a reliable stockpile of long-lasting prepper food is crucial.

This comprehensive guide explores the world of the best prepper food, covering types, nutritional factors, storage, and preparation, so you can ensure the well-being of your loved ones during emergencies.

Canned Foods

Closeup of a group of aluminium cans.

Canned foods are one of the most popular types of prepper food. They are readily available, have a long shelf life, and are easy to prepare.

Canned foods come in a variety of options, including vegetables, fruits, meats, and soups. They are typically low in cost and can be found at most grocery stores.

However, canned foods can be heavy and take up a lot of space, making them challenging to transport during emergencies.

Pros

  • Long shelf life
  • Readily available
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to prepare

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Take up a lot of space
  • May not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions

Freeze-Dried Foods

A set of freeze-dried food in a bag. Tourist freeze-dried food. View from above.

Freeze-dried foods are another popular type of prepper food. They are lightweight, have a long shelf life, and are easy to prepare.

Freeze-drying removes the water from the food, making it lightweight and easy to transport. Freeze-dried foods come in a variety of options, including fruits, vegetables, meats, and complete meals.

However, freeze-dried foods can be expensive compared to other types of prepper food.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Long shelf life
  • Easy to prepare

Cons

  • Expensive
  • May not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions

Dehydrated Foods

Healthy homemade fruit and vegetable chips on dark background. Organic diet food. The vegan diet. Dried vegetables. Vegetarian plant based snack concept. Top view.

Dehydrated foods are another type of prepper food. They are lightweight, have a long shelf life, and are easy to prepare.

Dehydrated foods come in a variety of options, including fruits, vegetables, and complete meals. However, dehydrated foods may not be as nutritious as other types of prepper food.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Long shelf life
  • Easy to prepare

Cons

  • May not be as nutritious as other types of prepper food
  • May not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions

MREs (Meals Ready to Eat)

MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are complete meals that are designed to be eaten without cooking. They are lightweight, have a long shelf life, and are easy to transport.

MREs come in a variety of options, including entrees, side dishes, and desserts. However, MREs can be expensive compared to other types of prepper food.

Pros

  • Complete meals
  • Lightweight
  • Long shelf life

Cons

  • Expensive
  • May not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions

Non-Perishable Foods

Non-perishable foods are foods that have a long shelf life and do not require refrigeration. These foods include pasta, rice, beans, and canned goods.

Non-perishable foods are an essential part of any prepper food stockpile, as they provide a variety of nutrients and are typically low in cost.

Pros

  • Long shelf life
  • Do not require refrigeration
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • May not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions
  • Can be heavy and take up a lot of space

Nutritional Considerations for Prepper Food

Set of long storage term mostly dry sweet energy foods on pantry shelf on brick wall background

When selecting prepper food, it’s essential to consider the nutritional content of the food. You’ll want to ensure that your emergency food supply provides the necessary nutrients to keep you and your family healthy during a crisis.

These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, calories, vitamins and minerals, and water.

Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient that helps your body build and repair tissues.

It is crucial to include high-quality protein sources in your prepper food stockpile. Options for protein include canned meats, beans, nuts, and seeds.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide your body with energy and are essential for proper brain function.

Include a variety of carbohydrate sources in your prepper food stockpile, such as pasta, rice, and whole grains.

Calories

In an emergency situation, you’ll need enough calories to maintain your energy levels and prevent unintentional weight loss.

Ensure that your prepper food stockpile includes foods with adequate calorie content, such as nuts, seeds, and canned goods.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential for maintaining good health.

Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and fortified foods in your prepper food stockpile to ensure that you’re receiving the necessary vitamins and minerals during an emergency.

Water

Water is essential for life, and having a supply of clean drinking water is crucial during an emergency.

Be sure to have a plan for storing and purifying water as part of your emergency preparedness plan.

Storage and Preparation of Prepper Food

Proper storage and preparation are vital to ensuring that your prepper food remains safe to eat and retains its nutritional value.

Follow these tips for storing and preparing your prepper food:

Storage Tips

Food storage in pantry, woman holding jar of sugar in hand. Pantry interior, wooden shelf with food cans and kitchen utensils

Location

Store your prepper food in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This will help extend the shelf life of your food and keep it safe to eat.

Temperature

Prepper food should be stored at a consistent temperature to prevent spoilage. Aim for a temperature between 50°F and 70°F for optimal storage.

Humidity

High humidity can cause food to spoil more quickly. Store your prepper food in a location with low humidity to extend its shelf life.

Preparation Tips

Cooking Methods

A camping pan frying onions and mushrooms, outdoors in a van, during the winter season.

During an emergency, you may not have access to electricity or gas for cooking. Be prepared with alternative cooking methods, such as a camping stove or solar oven.

Recipes

Have a variety of recipes on hand that use your prepper food ingredients.

This will help make your meals more enjoyable and ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet during an emergency.

Budget-Friendly and Sustainable Options

Preparing a prepper food stockpile doesn’t have to be expensive. There are budget-friendly and sustainable options available that can help you build a well-rounded emergency food supply.

These options include buying in bulk, growing your own food, foraging for food, and canning and preserving your own food.

Buying in Bulk

Purchasing food in bulk can be a cost-effective way to stock up on prepper food.

Look for sales and discounts on canned goods, grains, and other non-perishable foods to save money.

Growing Your Own Food

Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs is a sustainable way to supplement your prepper food stockpile.

You’ll have access to fresh, nutritious food during an emergency and save money on groceries.

Foraging for Food

Picking mushrooms in the woods

Learn about edible plants in your area and practice foraging for food.

This skill can provide you with additional food sources during an emergency and help you become more self-sufficient.

Canning and Preserving Your Own Food

Canning and preserving your own fruits, vegetables, and meats can be a cost-effective and sustainable way to add variety to your prepper food stockpile.

Learn how to safely can and preserve food to ensure it remains safe during an emergency.

Taste and Variety in Prepper Food

Emergency food doesn’t have to be bland and unappetizing. With some creativity and planning, you can create a prepper food stockpile that is both nutritious and delicious.

Consider incorporating spices and seasonings, adding fresh ingredients, and creating meal plans to keep your emergency meals interesting and enjoyable.

Spices and Seasonings

Simply Organic Starter Spice Gift Set

Having a variety of spices and seasonings on hand can make a big difference in the taste of your emergency meals.

Stock up on essential spices like salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried herbs to add flavor to your prepper food.

Adding Fresh Ingredients

When possible, supplement your prepper food with fresh ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

This can help improve the taste and nutritional value of your meals during an emergency.

Meal Planning

Create meal plans using your prepper food ingredients to ensure you’re getting a balanced diet and a variety of flavors during an emergency.

By Anita Brown

Anita Brown is our go-to contributor to our emergency preparedness website. Anita brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to the table, having weathered several awful natural disasters. Anita is currently working towards obtaining her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.